If Buddy's been moving at a slower, stiffer pace because of arthritis, the vet may prescribe phenylbutazone to manage his chronic pain. A nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug, or NSAID, it's a tried and true pain reliever. However, due to potential side effects and interactions, it requires veterinary oversight.
Going by the brand names of Butazolidin and Butatron, or it's nickname "Bute," phenylbutazone offers effective relief. As a NSAID, it works by blocking the synthesis of certain chemicals to relieve inflammation, making it effective to treat a dog's arthritis or muscle pain. Phenylbutazone is generally safe for your pup, but it comes with side effects, including potential rashes and malaise, as well as decreased renal blood flow. Because of the potential side effects, Bute and other NSAIDs require close monitoring in dogs with kidney or liver disease as well as gastrointestinal problems. Complications such as increased creatinine, depression or anemia indicate its use should be discontinued. If Buddy's taking phenylbutazone, keep a close eye to see if his appetite changes or if he experiences diarrhea, vomiting or depression, all potential signs of a reaction to the medication. If Buddy does well on this medicine, don't think more is better; too much Bute can cause serious illness, including renal failure and gastric perforation. Always consult an experienced veterinarian regarding the health and treatment of your pet.
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